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May 22, 2012

Connecting the Dots...

In a recent conversation, a college sophomore related to me his experience of arriving on campus for his freshman year at an institution well known for its sustainability. Somehow, in the course of applying, being admitted, and spending his first few weeks on campus he had been oblivious to these aspects of the institution.

And then it hit him in a profound way - he realized the prevalence of sustainability on campus and started seeing sustainable practices around every corner. He had become acutely aware of sustainability and was therefore better prepared to take action.

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News of the Week

Education & Research



Co-Curricular Education & Student Organizing


Campus Operations











Planning, Administration & Engagement

Affordability & Access


Coordination & Planning


Diversity & Inclusion




Public Engagement




Jobs & Internships




Campus Sustainability Discussion Forums Highlights


News of the Week

Education & Research


1. Maharishi U Management Creates Sustainability Consortium

Business professor Scott Herriott at Maharishi University of Management (Iowa) has formed a consortium of universities that will offer MBA courses on sustainability during this year's summer session. The Summer MBA Sustainability Consortium now includes the Bainbridge Graduate Institute (Washington), Brandeis University (Massachusetts), Marylhurst University (Oregon), Seattle Pacific University (Washington), University of Denver (Colorado), University of Maine and University of Vermont. Students at any member school will be able to take courses in environmental law, sustainable technologies and green investing.
See also: AASHE Resource: Sustainability-Focused Business Programs

2. St. Lawrence U to Launch Sustainability Semester

In spring 2013, student participants will be able to live and take courses together that address themes of human sustainability from a variety of disciplines. Located on a farm, the students will work on-site to grow food and build energy-efficient structures. The semester will also include an urban component where students spend two weeks in either Boston or New York to explore issues such as transportation, housing, food access, pollution and environmental justice.

Co-Curricular Education & Student Organizing

3. Syracuse U Students Initiate Food Waste Audits

Two Sustainability Division interns recently gave their fellow students a firsthand look at the food being wasted in the campus dining center each day. Two dinnertime tray waste audits yielded a total of 278 pounds of tray waste, which was displayed for student viewing on a tarp-covered table in three separate piles: untouched food, food scraps and non-edible waste. The visual impact was designed to encourage students to waste less food.

Campus Operations


4. U California San Diego Student Housing Achieves LEED Platinum

Providing housing for 516 students, the apartment building's shape and arrangement works to capture prevailing winds near the Pacific Ocean to lessen the need for mechanical air conditioning. An on-site wastewater-recycling project provides landscape irrigation water.
See also: AASHE Resource: Green Residence Halls (AASHE Member Resource)

5. U Massachusetts Amherst Music Building Earns LEED Gold

The university has received its first LEED certification with the new 15,000-square-foot George N. Parks Minutemen Marching Band Building, which features efficient mechanical systems, plumbing fixtures and lighting. More than 75 percent of construction waste was recycled.


6. Stonehill College Signs Climate Pledge, Creates Campus Farm

Stonehill College has become the twelfth Catholic college to sign the St. Francis Pledge of the Catholic Climate Covenant, committing the college to support campus sustainability efforts. The college has also created an organic farm that grows and distributes produce to local organizations and families who lack access to affordable fresh fruits or vegetables.
See also: AASHE Resource: Campus Supported Agriculture and Farms (AASHE Member Resource)


7. Delaware Technical CC to Install $7 M in Energy-Saving Measures

In partnership with Pepco Energy Services, Inc. the college will retrofit more than 1 million square feet of building space with energy-efficient measures including variable air volume units and new chillers. The majority of the project is financed by an energy efficiency tax-exempt bond issued by the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility. Over the 15-year contract term, the college expects to save more than $9 million in energy costs.

8. Broome CC Unveils Wind Turbine

The community college will use the 4-kilowatt turbine as an educational tool for students from multiple departments. The turbine is wired to a laboratory to collect data and will eventually be linked to solar panels on campus to measure energy use. A three-year grant from the state Energy Research Development Authority covered the cost of the turbine.
See also: AASHE Resource: Wind Installations on Campus

9. Lincoln Land CC to Build 2 Wind Turbines

A 10-kilowatt turbine will provide energy to a campus building and a second 1-kilowatt turbine will be used for instructional purposes. The project is funded by part of a renewable energy grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
See also: AASHE Resource: Wind Installations on Campus

10. U California Berkeley Debuts New Building Energy Dashboard

The university's new myPower site is connected to 57 campus buildings, allowing the campus community to view how much electricity a building is using in real time on their own computers. In addition to targeting individual behavior and behavioral change by showing how energy saving habits can make a difference, the new dashboard allows the university to spot and fix any energy-related issues. The university plans to get another 45 buildings online this year.
See also: AASHE Resource: Campus Building Energy Dashboards (AASHE Member Resource)

11. County College of Morris to Install Parking Lot Solar Panels

The college is starting the installation of solar panel canopies over several campus parking lots and a rooftop array on the Student Community Center. The panels are expected to provide 45 percent of the college’s annual energy use.
See also: AASHE Resource: Campus Solar Photovoltaic Installations


12. Utah State U to Launch Idle-Free Initiative

The initiative is designed to encourage drivers to turn of their engines while not moving in an effort to cut down on carbon emissions. The university's Sustainability Council will train students, faculty and staff to inform drivers of the initiative and provide information on the benefits of having an idle-free campus.
See also: AASHE Resource: Campus Anti-Idling Policies (AASHE Member Resource)


13. Syracuse U Launches Student E-Waste Program

Through a new Sustainability Division and Bird Library joint venture, students now have a convenient location to recycle small, non-working electronic items including cell phones, smart phones, PDAs, e-books, cameras and tablets with collection bins located in the library’s first floor recycling room. The items collected are picked up by a local recycling company.
See also: AASHE Resource: E-Waste Programs, Policies and Events (AASHE Member Resource)

14. Northwestern U Establishes Composting Program

After two years of planning, compostable materials will now be collected from campus dining halls and sent to a compost facility. Compost bins and educational signs have been posted to inform students of the new initiative.
See also: AASHE Resource: Campus Composting Programs

15. Washington U St. Louis Increases Composting Efforts

The university’s Office of Sustainability and Dining Services have partnered to increase composting efforts to include items like paper napkins, cardboard pizza boxes, tea bags, sugar packets, compostable plastic items and chopsticks. The Office of Sustainability is also working to create a pilot composting program for paper towels in bathrooms.

16. High Point U Hosts 'Clean Sweep' Event

The university collected food, clothing and furniture for local nonprofit organizations during student move-out day. The event collected more than 500 pounds of food, which will benefit 14 local food pantries.

Planning, Administration & Engagement

Affordability & Access

17. NY Times Studies Rising College Costs in 'Degrees of Debt' Series

This series examines the implications of soaring college costs and the indebtedness of students and their families. Part one takes a look at a generation "hobbled by the soaring costs of college" with more than $1 trillion in student loans outstanding in the U.S. Crippling debt is "no longer confined to dropouts from for-profit colleges or graduate students who owe on many years of education," says the article. Part two of the series examines how colleges are beginning to confront costs.
See also: Interactive Graphic: Student Debt Across the Nation

Coordination & Planning

18. Ivy League Partners with NRDC to Green Championship Events

The Ivy League will work with the Natural Resources Defense Council to reduce the environmental impacts of its championship events and provide greening resources to all Ivy athletics departments, with the goal of minimizing the environmental footprint of their operations and supply chains. A recent Ivy League Women’s Rowing Championship event kicked off the partnership, featuring recycling bins throughout the racecourse venue and event programs printed on 50 percent postconsumer recycled paper.

19. U Pennsylvania Launches Employee Home Greening Program

The university's new "Greening Penn at Home" initiative is designed to educate faculty and staff about best practices for energy efficiency at home. Penn Home Ownership Services has enlisted a regional provider of home energy efficiency analysis and improvement to present on-campus educational sessions, free home energy assessments and energy efficiency home improvements at preferred rates.

Diversity & Inclusion

20. College of William & Mary Awards Diversity Grants

The three projects to receive the Office of Diversity and Community Initiatives' first Innovative Diversity Efforts Awards (IDEA) grants include the Safe Zone Program (a visible support network for the LGBT community), the Virtual Conversation Partner Program (an initiative that pairs American students with incoming international students) and multicultural science education.

21. Samford U Students Pass Multicultural Support Resolutions

The Student Government Association Senate has passed two resolutions intended to promote the presence of multicultural organizations on campus. The first establishes a Multicultural Affairs Committee that will be devoted to supporting the growth of diversity-based organizations and will have access to $4,000 for use in assisting these groups. The second resolution is a corollary, which requests that the university match the $4,000 contribution.


22. U California Santa Barbara Receives $50 M for Energy Research

The private donation will be used to help construct an interdisciplinary Institute for Energy Efficiency research center.
See also: AASHE Resource: Renewable Energy Research Centers (AASHE Member Resource)

23. U California Berkeley Announces 2012 TGIF Awards

Twenty-two projects will receive a total of $308,630 from The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) this year, the most funding awarded in one grant year. TGIF provides funding for projects that reduce the university's negative impact on the environment and make the campus more sustainable. This year’s amount puts TGIF over the million dollar mark in total grant funding awarded over five years.
See also: AASHE Resources on Sustainable Investment and Financing

Public Engagement

24. UC Berkeley Issues Statement About Gill Tract

"After weeks of patient dialogue, engagement and rejected offers of compromise, we deeply regret that the occupiers’ actions and continued insistence on free and unfettered access to what is an open-air laboratory left us no choice but to take this step," says a statement issued by the University of California, Berkeley administration after police broke up an Occupy the Farm encampment on agricultural research land owned by the university. The purpose of police interference at Gill Tract, says the university, was to "ensure our faculty and students can conduct the research projects to which they have devoted much of their academic and professional lives." The university says that prior to any police action, efforts to talk with occupiers about how the unused portion of the land could be repurposed were "rejected or ignored."

25. USGBC Membership Discount for AASHE Members

As a special opportunity for AASHE members, the U.S. Green Building Council is offering a 10 percent discount on its membership dues. The offer expires on June 1.

26. Solar Powered Lighting Discount for AASHE Members

As a special opportunity for AASHE members, Texas Solar Resources, Inc. is offering a 10 percent discount on solar powered lighting and LED light fixtures. The offer expires on June 1.

27. Call for Papers: ACTS Campus Sustainability Conference

Themed "Mobilise and Motivate: Building momentum for a holistic sustainability approach," the September 2012 International Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) Conference invites abstracts from the sustainability community on some of the key sustainability challenges facing professionals, managers, facilities, academics and researchers. Potential topics include the role of higher education in the sustainability debate; how institutions can prepare for changing economic systems, changing student demographics and emerging potential risks associated with climate change; and how to create the appropriate sense of urgency to gain executive buy‐in and commitment. The call for papers will remain open through June 1.

Jobs & Internships
28. Executive Director, Sustainability, George Washington U

The executive director will guide the development of a university-wide sustainability initiative and collaborate with faculty and staff with sustainability expertise in developing academic programs and advancing grant-supported sustainability research. The position will also coordinate with the Office of Sustainability to expand sustainability outreach and practice initiatives. Successful candidates will have a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate area of specialization and a minimum of eight years of relevant experience.

29. Assistant Director, Sustainability, DePauw U

The assistant director will coordinate sustainability efforts with the university's Campus Master Plan, Capital Campaign and Facilities Management priorities, engaging all campus sectors in broad, interdisciplinary conversations about sustainability. The position will also facilitate university leadership in community, regional and national networks including the Indiana Green Campus Network and AASHE. Successful applicants will have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a sustainability-related field and at least six months of higher education sustainability experience. Apply by June 1 for full consideration.

30. Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies, Augustana College

In addition to teaching three courses per year in the environmental studies program, this position will establish and direct a new Upper Mississippi River Center for intellectual and cultural pursuits. Successful candidates will have a Ph.D. in environmental studies/policy or a related field and college-level teaching experience.

31. Assistant Professor, Urban Sustainability, U Toronto

This tenure-track appointment will teach sustainable engineering courses under the Department of Civil Engineering beginning July 1, 2012. Successful candidates should have research expertise in the application of sustainable engineering principles to urban infrastructure, with a focus on improving the livability of cities. Successful candidates will have a Ph.D. and be eligible for registration as a professional engineer in Ontario.

32. Adjunct Faculty, Sustainable Development, Virginia Tech

This position will be responsible for developing and teaching graduate-level online courses in the area of global political economy as it relates to international sustainable development, with a particular emphasis on environmental and natural resource sustainability. In addition to online course development and instructional responsibilities, the opportunity exists to teach in-person as part of an executive-format graduate program and to engage in research and outreach activities. Successful applicants will have a Ph.D. in political economy, economics, political science, international development or other relevant field. The review of applications will begin June 1.

33. Visiting Professor, Environmental Studies, Brown U

The university's Center for Environmental Studies invites social scientists especially to apply for this a non-tenure track position that begins in either summer 2012 or January 2013. The professor will teach three courses per year and supervise five to seven senior theses or capstone projects. Successful applicants will have a Ph.D. or terminal degree in a relevant discipline. To apply, contact Full consideration will be given to applications received by May 30.

34. CoFED 2012 Summer Training Workshops

The Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive is hosting West Coast and East Coast training events with speakers, workshops, field trips, regional networking, team building, and food justice and anti-oppression training. The East Coast training will be held May 31-June 5 in Wassaic, N.Y. and the West Coast training will take place June 17-23 in Georgetown, Calif. Register by May 27 for the early bird price.

35. AASHE Campus Sustainability Professionals Retreat

June 24-26, 2012; Nebraska City, NE
This workshop will offer professional development and support for staff managing institutional transformation for sustainability in higher education. Attendees will build relationships, develop leadership and change management skills, and generate ideas to contribute to the development of the field. The event will provide space for learning tangible skills, sharing best practices and learning from each other and from those with more experience. The deadline to register is June 4.

36. STARS Webinar: What the New AASHE Brand Means for STARS

May 29, 2012; 2:00 p.m. Eastern; Online
This webinar will share the details of AASHE's branding process, from concept to implementation, and how the new brand will affect STARS institutions. After taking a close look at how AASHE functions, the purpose it serves, and the best way to communicate who AASHE is to the higher education community and beyond, AASHE will soon unveil a new brand and visual identity.

37. Date Change: Creating a Bike-Friendly Campus Culture Webinar

June 11, 2012; 1:00 p.m. Eastern; Online
This Academic Impressions webinar has been changed from June 6 to June 11. Best for those institutions that are still in the foundational stages of developing a campus-wide alternative transportation strategy, this event will take a step-by-step approach to creating a bike-friendly culture on any campus. Supported by AASHE, the webinar will start with basic initiatives including bike racks, bike storage rooms and bike maps, and move into deeper investments like developing effective town/gown relationships.

38. Transcending Sustainability Conference

May 31 - June 3, 2012; Fairfield, Iowa
This inaugural event of the New Academy, which is working to help people meet the challenges of sustainability, will go beyond the approaches of substitution and efficiency to explore a radical redesign for regeneration and renewal of human and natural resources. Participants will help design a future annual summer education program that will tackle these "deep sustainability" concepts.

39. UMACS Sustainability Across the Curriculum Workshop

June 13-14, 2012; Northfield, MN
The Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability (UMACS) is partnering with St. Olaf College (Minnesota) to offer this workshop that will invite faculty to re-think courses and provide guidance on organizing faculty workshops on individual campuses. The workshop will be facilitated by an interdisciplinary team of faculty including Jim Farrell, author of "The Nature of College: How a New Understanding of Campus Life Can Change the World."

Campus Sustainability Discussion Forums Highlights

Click on the titles below to view the full discussion thread.

40. Inventory of AASHE Stakeholders Along Susquehanna River

With the Marcellus Shale natural fracking present in much of the Susquehanna River basin, I am interested in doing a stakeholder inventory of the Susquehanna River. This is a first step in a more exhaustive study of how natural gas fracking is affecting sustainability not only in the Susquehanna River basin, but also in the Chesapeake Bay tidal basin and the Atlantic Ocean and surrounding areas...I would like to begin the study by interviewing AASHE members along the Susquehanna River basin this summer.

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